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Quick answer
"Back away" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "retroceder", and "back off" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "echarse atrás". Learn more about the difference between "back away" and "back off" below.
back away(
bahk
 
uh
-
wey
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to move backwards)
a. retroceder
When the man took a knife from his pocket, the girl backed away in terror.Cuando el hombre sacó un cuchillo del bolsillo, la chica retrocedió aterrorizada.
b. alejarse
The dog whinned and backed away.El perro gimió y se alejó.
2. (to avoid something unpleasant or difficult)
a. evitar
Pete generally backs away from trouble.En general, Pete evita los problemas.
b. echarse atrás
You promised you woud try! You can't back away now!¡Me prometiste que tratarías! ¡Ahora no puedes echarte atrás!
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
3. (imperative; move backwards)
a. retrocede
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Back away! There's a snake!¡Retrocede! ¡Hay una serpiente!
b. retroceda
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Careful, madam, back away. There's a missing step.Cuidado, señora, retroceda. Falta un escalón.
c. aléjate
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Back away from the edge! It's dangerous!¡Aléjate del borde! ¡Es peligroso!
d. aléjese
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Back away from the window! There's somebody outside.¡Aléjese de la ventana! Hay alguien fuera.
4. (imperative; avoid something unpleasant or difficult)
a. evita
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Be wise and back away from confrontation.Sé inteligente y evita las confrontaciones.
b. evite
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Back away from risky investments.Evite las inversiones riesgosas.
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back off(
bahk
 
af
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to abandon a stance)
a. echarse atrás
We decided to back off from our proposal because it would've been too costly.Decidimos echarnos atrás de nuestra propuesta, porque habría sido demasiado costosa.
2.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to retreat)
a. retroceder
Don't come any closer. Back off or I'll shoot.No se acerquen. Retrocedan o disparo.
3. (to stop harassing someone)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
It's been a long day. Please, just back off.Ha sido un largo día. Por favor, déjame en paz.
What's with all the questions? Back off already.¿Por qué tantas preguntas? Déjame de una vez.
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